Storm on Vineyard
What will climate change mean to agriculture? A new report by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Strengthening BC’s Agriculture Sector in the Face of Climate Change, outlines what will happen in the future. “The science to date is unequivocal: B.C.’s climate is changing and getting warmer, and this is occurring faster than most climate models and projections have indicated to date.”
The report, by Erica Crawford and Rachelle Beveridge, spends several pages outlining the challenges facing farmers in B.C. today, and suggests climate change could be so extreme that unless government, agricultural institutions and farmers push hard for changes now, the increased volatility of the weather could push costs beyond the point of sustainability. “The overriding picture that emerges from this research is of an agriculture sector that has a great capacity for innovation and resilience, but its capacity is being strained by mounting pressures. This will only increase as the projected changes in B.C.’s climate come to bear.”
Unfortunately the weather changes don’t mean that farmers must adapt to hotter weather, but many more extreme variations. Crawford and Beveridge write: “The projections do not suggest single-direction shifts. In most cases both wet and dry extremes can be anticipated, and few crop varieties can tolerate the entire range of extremes.”
The pair spend three pages outlining support and action that could help alleviate these dangers. The full report may be downloaded at: http://pics.uvic.ca/research/publications/white-papers.